893.01 Provisional/125: Telegram

The Third Secretary of Embassy in China (Allison) to the Secretary of State

111. Bos, Chinese Secretary of the Netherlands Legation on visit to Nanking, told me in strict confidence this morning that during a recent conversation in Shanghai with Tang Shao Yi,58 he obtained the distinct impression that Tang would become the titular head of the [Page 194] Reformed Government of Central China if the Japanese authorities should display anything like a reasonable attitude. Tang determinately holding out for assurances with regard to the extent of Japanese control over Chinese industry in the occupied areas, as well as the manner in which political control is to be exercised. Seemingly Tang believes the Japanese are so anxious to obtain a man of his prestige and experience to take the lead in the new government that they will go far towards meeting his requirements.

Tang told Bos that he believed the Japanese intend to place the major emphasis on agrarian development with a view to improving the standard of living of the Chinese farmer so that he can purchase Japanese manufactured goods. Chinese raw materials will then be exploited by the Japanese for use in Japan or by Japanese companies in China.

As a result of his conversation, Bos believes that Tang’s attitude is due to a combination of two main factors; (1) a sincere belief that the good which can be accomplished for the benefit of the millions of Chinese in the occupied areas will outweigh any possible sacrifice Tang will make, and (2) a hatred of the Kuomintang and its blue shirt terrorists who Tang states are responsible for the recent murders in Shanghai of two of his close friends.

Sent to Embassy [at] Hankow, repeated to Peiping and Shanghai. Shanghai please mail to Tokyo.

  1. Chinese Prime Minister in 1912.